Blood transfusions FAQ's
Why do we ask for donors?
Sometimes our patients need transfusions when they are sick or injured, in the same way as we humans do. Due to the 'shelf life' of blood products, we do not keep a supply in the practice so we use the Pet Blood Bank, a charity that holds stock of different animal blood products.
Batches of blood from here need to be sent by courier from the charity to us. Each patient is assessed on an individual basis and some may require an urgent transfusion in life threatening situations. At this point we may need to rely on a local donor to come in straight away.
Could my dog donate blood?
Our blood donors tend to be close to our practice whose owners have kindly volunteered them to give blood.They must match the following criteria;
- Be aged between 2 and 8 years old
- Be generally fit and healthy
- Be up o date with vaccinations
- Weigh over 25kg
- Haven't travelled or come from outside the uk
- Have a nice calm nature.
Can my dog donate more than once?
Yes, a dog can give blood more than once provided they meet the above criteria.
Why can't we use dogs that have travelled abroad?
There are several doggy diseases which are present in other countries but not in the UK. These diseases could potentially be spread through a blood transfusion. We want to protect the recipient animal's health and we want to prevent these diseases from spreading.
Why must my dog's vaccinations be up to date for them to be a donor?
This ensure that we protect the health and well being of the recipient. Dogs in need of a blood transfusion are often very ill and therefore at a higher risk of contracting diseases. If blood from an unvaccinated dog is used, it could potentially expose the recipient to a disease that could be fatal for them.
How can I help if my dog doesn't meet the criteria?
Even if you dog cannot donate you can still help someone that needs it. The best way to help is to spread the word through social media if you see someone in need.
We hold a list of volunteer donors so if you would like us to add you name to our list, please get in touch, either through Facebook, through this blog or by phone and let us know.